What do we think?

So J.C. calls tonight and tells me, “Oh, by the way, I redesigned your site. Nothing drastic. I just got this crazy idea.”

And I’d just been thinking we haven’t had a new look in a while. So how do we like it?

UPDATE: It’s very Cool Blue, isn’t it? Do we like the single splash of warmth in the flag? I’m still making up my mind.

Posted at 7:43 pm in Housekeeping | Tagged , |

56 responses to “What do we think?”

  1. Dexter said on February 7, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    crazy, baby! Last thread, I posted a comment regarding a post brian made about the King Tut exhibit, included a link, but the post would not show up, 3 times…I just tried it here…won’t post with a link included the message.
    Now WordPress says it’s a duplicate comment…

    Now it posted, that time! The story was…I was also at the King Tut at The Field…drove my ’68 VW Microbus, hauled the kids to the show, waited hours even with time-stamped tickets, and the whole thing was AWESOME, and I’d do it again…even with the ten dollar parking ticket I received.

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  2. derwood said on February 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Like the new look.

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  3. Deborah said on February 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    The graphic designer that I am noticed the font change immediately. Overall it’s easy on the eyes.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 7, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    $10 parking ticket in Chicago — yeah, King Tut came to town a looooooong time ago, didn’t he?

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  5. basset said on February 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    The new look? Ehhhh. Don’t like the font, it’s harder to read.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Borrowing from Rod Dreher, how many Orthodox monks does it take to change a light bulb?

    Answer: Change? What is this change of which you speak?

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  7. Hank Stuever said on February 7, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    All I see in Firefox 3.0.whatever (on Mac) is a blue bar across the top. No name, no pic, no nothin
    Is something wrong?

    update: But I _can_ see it in Safari. Why’s that? My Firefox just update to version 3. I have this problem with another web site too.

    Is a vote for “liked it better the old way” permissible? Because even when I can see the new one, I like the old one. There’s a larger blog item in here about the web’s (and gizmoidal) compulsion to redesign, constantly, even moreso than print, which is saying something. How can anything ever have time to become classic, comforting anymore?

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  8. mark said on February 7, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Very cool. But where are the ads? No click, no cash.

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  9. basset said on February 7, 2009 at 11:08 pm

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  10. basset said on February 7, 2009 at 11:29 pm

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  11. caliban said on February 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Does it come with fedora, Scoop? Clackety-clack. Where’s the steaming cuppa Joe and the smoking Old Gold?

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  12. Dexter said on February 8, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Caught that, JMMO? Yep…It was 1977, and I took it home and mailed in a M.O. for ten bucks to Da Mare. I like to visit museums and art institutes but so far nothing has topped the Tutster in my little universe. But…the Peter Max show I attended at the SF Art Museum decades ago really blew my mind.

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  13. moe99 said on February 8, 2009 at 1:10 am

    The blue on blue makes it harder to read because the contrast is down. Just my 2 cents.

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  14. Gasman said on February 8, 2009 at 1:20 am

    On Safari I get just a blue band at the top, no picture, no logo, nothin’. However, the link works.

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  15. Dexter said on February 8, 2009 at 1:39 am


    Cal agra is toast, soon…says Chu, D.O.E. …

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  16. whitebeard said on February 8, 2009 at 6:10 am

    I have the newest version of FireFox and it also only sees a blue bar at the top; I will try it is Explorer as a test. Also the font makes me squint too much. I am all in favor of change although my Motoring section front layout in The Hartford Courant was unchanged for about a dozen years and I was happy.

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  17. WhiteBeard said on February 8, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Is that a Linotype typesetter keyboard or an old Underwood manual typewriter? Looks good in Explorer, font is very reabable, but the font for the “write a comment” is too small.
    When I was at the railway in Montreal the pensioners, who received a shrunken version of the employee newspaper in their pension payment envelope, asked whether the powers-that-be thought that their eyesight had improved with age.
    I did some research and found it was thousands of dollars cheaper to send them the full version; it just meant a longer press run at pennies a copy

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 8, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Firefox 3.0.5 and i can see it all — somehow, the various elements don’t quite jell in my viewing. Font for names next to font for post info, and header font diff than font for header click tags at bottom seems counterintuitive. And the click tags for previous page/next page and the text in the comment box is enough smaller to make me, um, squint. A bit. Not that i’m old or anything.

    Always like the retro Underwood keyboard, and the splash on the left of the masthead is a nice eye draw, leaving you to slow scan over to the right and down. So i guess it’s font and size that leaves me feeling a bit scattered.

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  19. deb said on February 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

    well, damn. i can’t see it in either firefox or safari. screenshot, anyone?

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  20. beb said on February 8, 2009 at 11:07 am

    There’s an empty light blue box above your comments.
    there is no sidebar. The data about when uploaded is the same size as your comments. There’s an intrusive bar just below that. This is being viewed in Firefox 3, so — failed coding. Back to the drawing board.

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  21. beb said on February 8, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Our King Tut story. My wife and I weren’t even married yet when we decided to see the Tut exhibit at the Field Museum. (And has the Field Museum really started calling itself “The Field” the way Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum has become “The Ford.”)

    When we got there, without tickets, we were stunned and depressed to side a line running around three of the four sides of this huge building. We got in line thinking we would never get in. A few minutes later a lady comes up to us — the last people in line — and asks if we could be in buying a couple tickets. She was a Girl Scout Troop leader and their troop and some of the girls had decided not to come so they had these extra tickets. We paid face value — no scalping here — and got in after all. I don’t think we can ever that that troop lady enough. And remain to this day appalled that some girls could have decided that this exhibit was not worth seeing.

    We also went back three years ago to see the returning visit, which I think was all replicas but still pretty amazing. The Field Museums permanent Egyptian exhibit was pretty good, too.

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  22. Hank Stuever said on February 8, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Hey, Nancy and everyone.
    This morning, just now, I went and updated every last thing my Mac wanted to update. (I kept playing hard-to-get with Software Updates, which seem relentless.) Now that I’ve done it — I think the Java update is what did the trick, after the recent Firefox upgrades — I can see clearly now the rain has gone. AND NOW I LIKE NANCY’S NEW LOOK.

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  23. mark said on February 8, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Aahh. The ads are back. Hurry folks. Click now to get great deals on Southwest Airlines and help nancy win valuable prizes.

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  24. vince said on February 8, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I like it! Very handsome. And Spriggy deserves the co-billing you’re giving him now.

    PS: Yesterday my Safari also displayed nothing but a blue banner. It looks fine today (without any upgrades at my end.) Methinks your fixes have taken root.

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  25. brian stouder said on February 8, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I think I’m seeing the update, but I don’t see the proprietress and Spriggy anymore.

    I always liked that metaphor; Nance the writer, and her band of ‘lost dogs’ of readers and commenters

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  26. Jolene said on February 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    The comments seem a lttle stretched and sprawling. (Haven’t read what people said above.) Maybe make the column a little narrower? Also seems odd to have people’s names in smaller type than the comment text. That Courier type, if that’s what it is, doesn’t do it for me.

    On another topic, just watched Tom Ricks talk about his new book, The Gamble. Some of us read his earlier book, Fiasco, which was excellent. He’s so smart. It’s heartbreaking to think what might have happened–or not happened–if we’d had such clear-thinking people running the country over the past eight years.

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  27. MichaelG said on February 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Altogether I like the new design. The numbered comments are handy. I do prefer the old font.

    Yes Dexter, as I’ve said several times recently, we need water and we need a water policy. The legislature can’t even agree on last year’s budget let alone a comprehensive, long term water policy. The way we’re going, it won’t take 90 years for Calif agriculture to disappear.

    The current fiscal year is up at the end of June. Then the budget horse shit will start over again or be squared.

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  28. Bill said on February 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I like the new picture.

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  29. Dexter said on February 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Whitebeard: Since The Courant was how I caught up on news from my friend’s area of Danielson, Brooklyn, the Killinglys, etc, maybe I read some of your Motoring stories. I started reading it every Sunday when I got my first computer but stopped when it changed to a more modern format.
    Also…that comment about the shrunken newspaper for the retirees is food for thought, and I think it’s a great example of how nobody gives a hoot about old people.

    It’s nice to read others’ stories here about visiting King Tut years ago. I don’t know where I picked up the usage of “The Field” instead of calling it by it’s full name…probably it is because we hear of “The Guggenheim” and “The Getty”…I guess, maybe, that’s the lexicon? Damifino!
    When Comerica Park was about to open (Detroit Tigers Baseball Club) lots of words were written on what the nickname of the place would be. Ernie Harwell had dubbed the old place on Michigan & Trunbull “The Corner”.
    After contests for the fans to write in and vote on a nickname, it was determined that it would be called “The Copa”, but I think many people associated that name with the old Barry Manilow song “At the Copa, Copa Cabana”, and too bad for Barry M., a lot of people can’t stand him.
    Well, I listen to a lot of Tiger games (Archbold-Wauseon 96.1 FM) and they call it Comerica Park . All that nonsense was hub-ub about nothing.

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  30. moe99 said on February 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I never got to see the Tut exhibit when it was touring in 1978 (that was the point in time I was moving to Brussels), but I have very fond memories of visiting the Toledo Museum of Art as a kid, where they had a very impressive Egyptian exhibit with a sarcophagus and at least one mummy, that I think was funded via Libbey Owens Glass.

    When I worked at the Seattle Art Museum in 1983, I was able to pick up a poster from the Tut exhibit which I then framed, and it is on one of my walls at work. The Tut Exhibit put the Seattle Art museum on the map and is still talked about by old timers in Seattle.

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  31. Deborah said on February 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    See Jolene, the courier font (or facsimile) works because of the new masthead, typewriter keys. Or those may not be typewriter keys at all, may be some linotype newspaper thingy that I know nothing about. Whatever, it suggest the old newsrooms where reporters tapped away. I like the juxtaposition of the typewriter keys combined with the photo of Nancy at the laptop. The subtle alternating vertical bands along the right side of the comments is a nice touch too.
    I went to the Tut exhibit in Dallas in 78, it was OK. I was way more impressed with the Egyptian sections of the Met and the British Museum.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on February 8, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Like others with aging eyes I prefer larger fonts, but if you didn’t know, clicking ctrl and the + key will make the font larger. Otherwise it’s cool.

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  33. beb said on February 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Still messed up. Java and Flash are what’s killing the Internet.

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  34. Kevin Knuth said on February 8, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I like it!

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  35. caliban said on February 8, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Dexter: Annie Liebowitz took racy pictures of Miley Cyrus? Why wasn’t I alerted? If subtle humor is your game, a discernible modicum of subtlety and humor is probably a good idea. Maybe they aren’t just some dumbass rednecks and they’re conscious of setting a good example. And how did ‘social consciousness get to be ‘social conscience’?

    MichaelG: When I say the Salton Sea exhibits ravaged beauty, I guess I’m thinking about Patti Smith and Bonny Raitt. Now, the Aral Sea, that’s more like Marianne Faithful circa Broken English, or Shane McGowan since he took his first drink of whiskey ( I sincerely doubt this poet ever drank scotch, so I feel confident in spelling with ‘e’ intact. And yeah, commas are beautiful. The fundamental punctuation mark of the periodic sentence. Proper comma deployment and understanding of the proper use of the semicolon are hallmarks right up there with opposable thumbs. I wouldn’t noormally do this, but in researching this post (yeah I do use the Google, and y’all deserve no less) I was confronted with this achingly gorgeos bit of poetry:

    The last time I saw you was down at the Greeks
    There was whiskey on Sunday and tears on our cheeks
    You sang me a song as pure as the breeze
    Blowing up the road to Glenaveigh
    I sat for a while at the cross at Finnoe
    Where young lovers would meet when the flowers were in bloom
    Heard the men coming home from the fair at Shinrone
    Their hearts in Tipperary wherever they go.

    I believe if it’s not AE Houseman or Auden, or Gerard Manley Hopkins, WB Yeats is the finest poet of the last several centuries. Bad teeth and all. Shane McGowan is right there. Modern poetry is drier than a dessicated bone, and the point is usually more elusive than the point of one of those bloodless, navel gazing New Yorker short stories about angst, or something.

    Regarding Stimulus ’09: Why are Paul Krugman and self-styled Progressives acting like there’s just one bite at the apple? Roosevelt didn’t, you know, stay the course when things were working well. And why does anybody with a functioning brain give the all tax cuts all the time nitwits ink or consideration? Embracing greed and ditching regulation caused the problem’ Tas cuts don’t trickle down except as urine. Money in pockets works.

    Firefox: Since I went for this alternative several years ago, I’ve read online about problems. I’ve never had one. Not one. It’s faster and more reliable. And the new website? Well I’m all for typewriters, preferably Selectrics, and my little Sears model that remembers 20 characters back. I still use that sucker at the beach. What’s the worst that could happen?

    Regarding Newspapers: If everybody is satisfied with Matt Drudge, I guess dumbing down is complete and I need to resign myself to Twitter and stupidity. Somebody’s going to have to do something about this rampant ignorance as a badge for being opinionated under the influence of deliberate obtuseness. Rush is a destructive moron y’all.

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  36. caliban said on February 8, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    What ever happened to Riverbend? Newspapers are fishwrap and internet rules. Right? Isn’t it LCD? Morons in, morons out.

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  37. alex said on February 8, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Looks good to me. The serif font is easier on they eyes, too. And a more user-friendly, legible font size in the comments box when I’m typing.

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  38. James said on February 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm


    There isn’t any Flash or Java on this page.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 8, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Caliban, we’re about to go to China and Saudi Arabia to borrow $2 trillion from them. Whether we absolutely have to or not (i think there’s room for some reasoned debate on this, up to a point, or up to a pint), i think Rs and Ds and all concerned can agree that we can do this once.

    There is no second go-round for us, because they don’t have it (the third trillion) to loan, and, um, we’re about to start running behind on oil supply to demand. So whatever we’re gonna do needs to work, or at least do no further harm. D and R Congresses have deferred maintenance of the Good Ship of State for forty years, and the caulking and scraping and repainting have to be done, but if we spend it all on brass polish and a new bell for the wheelhouse, we can’t take a third mortgage on the old boilers.

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  40. moe99 said on February 8, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    whatever happened to just good ol’ printing the money up as you need it?

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  41. Dexter said on February 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    It’s Valentine’s week…time to get the mushy stuff out! These lyrics will adorn my wife’s gift, come Saturday:

    I may not always love you
    But long as there are stars above you
    You never need to doubt it
    Ill make you so sure about it

    God only knows what Id be without you

    If you should ever leave me
    Well life would still go on believe me
    The world could show nothing to me
    So what good would living do me

    God only knows what Id be without you.
    —Lyrics by The Beach Boys (written by Brian Wilson)

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  42. Dexter said on February 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    oh…for some reason I bawled like a baby all through the “Sully” seg on 60 Minutes…

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  43. Jolene said on February 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    So did I, Dexter. I don’t know why exactly, but there it was.

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  44. Gasman said on February 8, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),
    I, for one, am tired of the labored theatrics from the Republicans. This financial crisis is heavily laden with a Republican/Neocon stench and they damn well know it. The only proposals that I have heard from the Neocon survivors is the nonsensical mantra of “Tax Cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.” If this formula didn’t work over the last eight years, why is it likely to work now? Not only did it not work, it caused the mess we are in! At what point do the remaining Republicans admit even a vestigial connection to what they have wrought?

    Obama was elected to bring a new perspective to the problem. It’s his turn now. If the Rs really believe he will fail, then let him do so. They will be the beneficiaries of his plight. From their collective inaction during the last eight years it is obvious they could care less about the country. However, if they believe he might succeed, then their current obstructionist role makes a bit of sense.

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  45. mark said on February 8, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Tax cuts caused the current financial mess? Explain away, gasman.

    The story of our current financial mess is too many years fueling the economy almost exclusively with consumer spending using borrowed money. Lots of subplots and villians, but that’s the reality.

    We can’t borrow and spend our way to wealth. The money we have wasted with TARP and are about to waste with whatever new plan would be better saved to provide for those who will suffer during the downturn.

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  46. caliban said on February 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Wow. We just sat through The Dark Knight. I think A knight’s Tale is brillian, so Hearh Ledger is OK with me. But mimicing Christian Slater’s boice beyind makeup is brilliant acting? Just not a very good movie. Batman Begins is infinitely better.

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  47. caliban said on February 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Bush tax cuts were targeted at the well off, W’s bread and butter. They didn’t spend it, jusst like they never earned their money in the first place Money was sequestered, not circulated. That’s how. Anyone dumb enough not to get this mightbe dense enough to choke on a pretzel, pass out, and get urinated on by an obnoxious terrier. Where’s the second trillion? Hell, I stand to inherit one, but I’d say tax estates like the rest of the free world.

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  48. Jolene said on February 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Paul McCartney just finished singing “I Saw Her Standing There” on the Grammy Awards show. Can you imagine how many times in the past forty-some years he’s sung that song? Sounded pretty good too.

    He gave a charming performance on The Colbert Report the other night. See it here.

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  49. brian stouder said on February 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Popculch ALERT!! Popculch ALERT!!

    Once again, good ol’ Nance prepared us to better understand breaking news BEFORE it broke!

    Exhibit “A” is the nn.c post about the “LA street artist” (as Nance referred to him) and his profitable alterations upon a stolen AP photo.

    Exhibit “B” is this, which I heard on TV today and which made me snap my head around and pay attention (and which would have sailed past, if not for Nance’s post)


    an excerpt:

    Fairey was arrested Friday night in Boston on his way to the Institute of Contemporary Art to DJ at a sold-out party kicking off his first solo exhibition, “Supply and Demand.” Two arrest warrants had been issued Jan. 24 after police determined that he had tagged property in two locations with his street art campaign featuring Andre the Giant and the word “obey”

    How’s about “obey” the laws, and RESPECT other people’s property?

    What a maroon

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  50. beb said on February 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    James said on February 8th, 2009 at 8:28 pm
    beb: There isn’t any Flash or Java on this page.

    So why can’t I see the header to Nancy’s page, the I could see before the change?

    I’m glad to hear that there is no Java or Flash on these pages, because in general I do believe that Java and Flash really mess up web browsing.

    Saw the funniest video tonight on America’s Funniest Videos. It was a clip of the reactions of a bunch of teen-age girls in a Health to a video of child-birth. There was so much screaming and covering the face. So much for our future mothers of America.

    This reminds of a time before our daughter was born. About two days before, in fact. She wasn’t coming willingly so the doctors had induced labor, which didn’t work but I stayed over night with her. Around 2-3AM we could hear some very young girl crying “Mommy, make it stop” make it stop!” Somehow, despite this, we nodded off only to wake up around 7 am to the sound of a young girl crying out “Mommy, make it stop! Make it stop!” At first we thought it was the same girl. Turned out it was another girl in labor. They just sounded alike.

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  51. Gasman said on February 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Tax cuts in isolation did not cause the mess, but neither did they fix or do anything to avert it. This lassez faire, let the masses feed from the crumbs that fall from the table of the wealthy attitude definitely did create this problem. How many years in power do the Republicans need before they shoulder any of the blame?

    It is infantile and imbecillic to say that we can’t spend our way out of this. That is precisely the only way we will emerge from this crisis. Spending is the opposite of a recession. Americans are unwilling, or more likely, unable to spend right now. The big spender of last resort is the government. However, the Republican Ministry of Truth is busy trying to convince everyone that FDR did not actually clean up their previous gargantuan pile of dung.

    As I said earlier, if tax cuts did not work during the last eight years – or ever, why will they magically work now?

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  52. Rana said on February 9, 2009 at 12:16 am

    I like the new banner picture, and I like the comments font. Not so fond of the font for the posters’ names, nor the one for previous or subsequent posts (like the one just below this comment box). I also wish that your responses in the thread had a different font as they did in the previous version.

    But this might just be grumpiness about encountering an unexpected change.

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  53. Catherine said on February 9, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Gasman, you might want to be careful about statements like, “It is infantile and imbecillic to say that we can’t spend our way out of this. That is precisely the only way we will emerge from this crisis.” Consumer spending is something like 70% of GDP. Government is about 20% (with investment and exports making up the rest). So, if consumer spending falls by 15%, government spending would have to increase by 50% to make up the difference. This assumes there is no short term inflation, and that the economy actually does grow in the long term. I think most economists would agree that stimulating consumer spending is the best and perhaps only way to push out the aggregate demand curve. Government spending can have some effect, but projects have to be carefully chosen for proven multiplier effects (which are scarce). Perhaps the better arguments for the public works projects in the stimulus plan are 1) It is a sensible time to invest in infrastructure (i.e., it’s cheaper now), and 2) There is a social benefit to employing people who would otherwise be out of work.

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  54. dan said on February 9, 2009 at 7:43 am

    #17 WhiteBeard & #31 Deborah: That’s an old typewriter keyboard in the new art. Linotype would be etaoin shrdlu instead of qwertyuiop.

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  55. beb said on February 9, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Catherine said on February 9th, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Gasman, you might want to be careful about statements like, “It is infantile and imbecillic to say that we can’t spend our way out of this. That is precisely the only way we will emerge from this crisis.” Consumer spending is something like 70% of GDP. Government is about 20% (with investment and exports making up the rest). So, if consumer spending falls by 15%, government spending would have to increase by 50% to make up the difference.

    Which is why reality based economists are saying that the stimulus package should be closer to $2 trillion and not the $800 billion or less we’re looking at now.

    I did see a chart of economic multipliers such as Catherine asked for, but don’t recall the blog it was on (perhaps it was Kevin Drumm’s. He likes charts) What it showed was that tax incentives like rebates had a multiplier effect of about 1, while food stamps had the best multiplier effect of 1.75.

    By the by, Nancy, different computer, different browser but I still only see a light blue box at the top of the box with no logo, picture, etc.

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  56. paddyo' said on February 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I agree with Rana re: The Proprietess’s replies standing out in their own font/color from the rest. Bring that back, pls.
    The numbering system for comment postings is a nice, if too-light-and-faded touch … and that’s the overall feel to me of the typographical/tonal change. Lighter doesn’t always mean better …

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